PRESIDENT Duterte would do well to appoint a new chief of the 205,000-member Philippine National Police (PNP) capable of helping him in fulfilling his election campaign promises in 2016.
By picking the “best man” to head the PNP, President Duterte will be on track responding to local and global events that tend to “hamper” the country’s socio-economic development.
His poll promises include the eradication of the drug menace, graft and corruption in the bureaucracy, criminality, hunger and poverty.
Thus, it is certainly heartening to know that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will soon submit to President Duterte a shortlist of candidates for the top PNP post.
To be submitted by DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), last week of this month, the shortlist will contain from three to five names.
The premier police post will be vacated by PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa on September 2, when he reaches 56, the compulsory retirement age in the military and police service.
However, Ano was quick to explain that the tough-talking Chief Executive from Mindanao may pick the next PNP chief from any of the star-rank officers, including the three 3-star generals.
They are Lt. Generals Camilo Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for administration; Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, deputy chief for operations; and Cesar Hawthorne Binag, chief of the directorial staff.
Gamboa and Cascolan, who will retire in November, are members of PMA Class 1986, while Binag and Eleazar of PMA Batch 1987 are set to retire in April and November 2021, respectively.
The outgoing top “Mamang Pulis” took over as office-in-charge in October 2019, replacing Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who stepped down from his post amid the controversy in an anti-drug operations during his stint as Pampanga police chief in 2013.
The appointment of the new PNP chief comes at a critical time when the country and the Filipino people are battling COVID-19, the “drug monster,” graft and corruption, and criminality.